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Negatives and Positives

A simple concept that even us adults might have experienced in the past, open campus lunch allows students to leave the school campus on a break to have lunch outside. While some schools implement this policy, most of them do not. It has been one of the hot subjects in debates between individuals who have one opinion or another about it, where there is no real strong view. To come up with a well-informed idea on open campus lunch, let us take a look at its pros and cons.

List of Pros of Open Campus Lunch

1. Opportunity to Learn Responsibility and Interaction
Open campus lunch is observed to have taught students to be able to interact with the world and be more responsible in certain ways that are closer to how adults do it. Well, they have to communicate with other people when they go to the bank and then to the dining establishment, which is really helpful to their learning even if it is just quick.

2. Faith and Trust in Students on Managing Their Own Time
This policy requires schools to place their trust in their students on accordingly managing their time, teaching them an important skill for college and employment in the future—time management. Plus, when schools put their full faith on their students, they will feel empowered to make the right decisions for their future. As a result, they would do better at their studies. As individual responsibility is often seen to lack in students, an open campus lunch can provide them with just that.

3. Extra Time
Schools handle lunch differently in general, which makes a huge difference on how open campus lunch works. Some provide a short period of only minutes, specifically half of a class period, which will be almost impossible for students to leave and come back. However, others may give students long lunch periods, like an hour, which are likely perfect for this policy.

4. More Nutritious and Healthier Food Options
While the food that can be found within walking distance might not be the healthiest, it can offer more choices to students, which are good for those who want a varied diet. Also, not all school lunches are the same, and some providers are poorly doing their job with how they cook and prepare their dishes. Aside from lacking certain nutrients, they are not always cooked well or even palatable. On the other hand, when children are allowed to leave for lunch, they will have more opportunities to eat healthy.

5. A Break That Allows Children to Be Themselves
Being able to leave school for a while can be an excellent rest-and-restart for the rest of the day. This means that open campus lunch would energize children from being on their own and allow them to return fully prepared to finish things up.

List of Cons of Open Campus Lunch

1. Lack of Awareness
People always question whether students aging 16 years have the self-control to drive safely when running late. While adults think that it is better late than getting in an accident, young people do not. Also, there is the question of what other activities they might engage in during their time off campus. Normally, parents do feel they are placing their children in good hands with schools and can rest easy knowing they are safe. But with open campus lunch, parents would then have to wonder what their children during the given free period.

2. Opening for Children to Ditch School
By dropping their vigilance, many people believed that children will do everything possible not to learn. Along with spending more time off campus than they would if the policy were not implemented, there is the possibility that they will ditch school half the entire day. As a result, students would stop their studies, enrollment rates would decrease.

3. Chance for Children to Do Bad Things
On your end, what do you think would happen if children were let out, unsupervised and given the freedom to do whatever they want? For many people, they would not give children credit and would assume the very worst while they hope for the best. So, it is believed that children left unsupervised during open campus lunch may pose a certain danger to themselves and the community. Along with the concerns that children will use this chance to smoke, drink alcohol and take drugs, there is just unfavorable thought that they will get into trouble when they are not supervised.

4. Children Getting Hurt
This consequence can be the result of the previous cons. It is the responsibility of schools to ensure the safety and well-being of students, and having open campus lunch would make it more difficult to regulate these things if children are allowed to leave. From being physically assaulted to possibly being hit by a vehicle, letting them out would literally put them at risk. As a lot of parents do not have the luxury to supervise their children during the day, they sometimes push for a movement to cancel open campus lunches to better ensure their children’s safety.

Conclusion

One of the best ways to handle open campus lunch is to place some restrictions upon the time provided. This can be done by age restrictions, only allowing students who are 17 years or older or perhaps basing grade levels to ensure that students who are leaving are mature enough to handle themselves. Most probably, this will lead to growth, and the opportunity to learn from mistakes would certainly take place.

Some schools think creatively to consider their policies as potential sources of problems with student performance, and one of these policies is open campus lunch. Those who have it want to reduce the stress from housing and providing meals for students, but they should require students to police themselves and return to school in time. Based on the pros and cons listed above, what do you think about such a policy?

The US Air Force is considered one of the most significant institutions in the country. Not only it is the wings of the armed forces and meant for a higher level of national security, but it also offers many career options to many individuals. Being in this military branch is a matter of immense pride, where your job will be significant and will have far-reaching consequences. But like any other job in the armed forces, joining the Air Force has its fair share of pros and cons.

List of Pros of the Air Force

1. It offers personal security.
By joining the Air Force, you will be paid considerably well and have all your interests looked after. What’s more, your insurance will be extremely significant, where you will get lifetime medical insurance. Not only will you receive these benefits, but also your family. The government pays for the same, and you will not even need to get embroiled in formalities or the paperwork because the administration would take care of all of these things.

2. It offers job security.
This is definitely a great advantage of joining Air Force. It does not matter if there is a recession, if a certain industry is falling or if there is a massive policy reform that would change the nature of such a career. Whatever happens, a job in the Air Force is secured, and you would always get paid of your salary and benefits, unless you indulge in improper acts and get dishonorably discharged from duty.

3. Its jobs have the sense of thrill.
Getting to have the chance to use high-end weaponry and gadgets are just minor things; of course, you will get to fly some of the best aircraft in the world. You will be in the midst of technological gifts all the time. Moreover, it is not necessary for you to be a pilot to get such thrills, as every department can be fun. The satiation level is definitely high in this institution.

4. It brings about glamour and respect for the service personnel.
Having a certain rank and then aspiring for a higher one can surely make your life worthwhile. Being a commander or decorated officer can bring in a lot of satisfaction for you. Being an Air Force officer, you will be more respected by your immediate family members, relatives and neighbors. If there is a substantial accomplishment in your career, then the whole country would even come together to respect you.

5. Its careers imply that a person will get access to the best military schools, colleges and institutes.
As a member of the force, there will be no limit to how much you can learn, and the best part is, the government will fund all your educational aspirations. You can keep studying, performing better and learning new skills, while not worrying about insurance or anything that can take a toll on you financially.

6. It offers jobs that allow one to travel.
Being an Air Force pilot, you will be able to go around the world and live a jet-setting lifestyle. However, there is only so much you can do while at it. Of course, you cannot be a perennial tourist, and your travels will come with great responsibilities.

7. Its careers ensure financial security after retirement.
Financially, you would always be taken care of by the government for as long as you live.

8. Its careers help a person to stay healthy and fit.
When you indulge in physical activities at all times under training and disciplined, you will ensure yourself to remain fit and healthy. This is certainly a great reward, especially these days when there are more obese people than healthy ones.

List of Cons of the Air Force

1. It poses difficulty when it comes to getting into it.
In the Air Force, the physical requisites and training, the medicals and other attributes that are required will make it difficult for you to get in. Considering these, not everyone can get into this military branch.

2. Its careers can make people homesick.
You will be away from home and your family for months or, possibly, years, which can be very disappointing.

3. It requires a bond of service tenure.
In the Air Force, you will be required to undertake a minimum period of service. This bond will not allow you to quit the service once you complete your training. However, you are given the option to quit during training, but on a condition that you repay the amount that has been spent on you by the government.

4. Its jobs come with the risk of casualty.
This risk can only be negligible when you are assigned on the ground and away from war zones. However, international deputations and times of conflict will increase the risks of being a casualty on action.

5. It implements an imperialistic foreign policy.
Foreign affairs policy seems to be imperialistic, which has become a hot issue in debates.

6. Its jobs are glamorous, but not all of them are.
Take note that not all jobs in the Air Force are glamorous, as some assignments can be just as boring as ordinary jobs, such as facilitation and support functions or just those that requires you to sit in the back offices crunching numbers. However, you can still take pride in the fact that you are contributing to national welfare and security.

7. It poses the risk of being sexually harassed.
This factor does not just loom large in the Air Force but also exists in any military branch, generally happening in women. Being a male dominated field, this trend heightens the misery. But when it comes to such a case, the Air Force policy will surely give assurance of justice.

Conclusion

So, these are the pros and cons of joining the Air Force. These are also existent in other military branches, but joining the service should be something that comes from within. Despite the odds, your determination, feeling of pride and belongingness will eventually make you stay. As many people say, if you have it in you, you have it in you, but it is another story otherwise. So, think it out carefully.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is made into a business or a sector by an individual or a company from another country. It is different from portfolio investment, which is made more indirectly into another country’s economy by using financial instruments, such as bonds and stocks.

There are various levels and forms of foreign direct investment, depending on the type of companies involved and the reasons for investment. A foreign direct investor might purchase a company in the target country by means of a merger or acquisition, setting up a new venture or expanding the operations of an existing one. Other forms of FDI include the acquisition of shares in an associated enterprise, the incorporation of a wholly owned company or subsidiary and participation in an equity joint venture across international boundaries.

If you are planning to engage in this kind of venture, you should determine first if it provides you and the society with maximum benefits. One good way to do this is evaluating its advantages and disadvantages.

List of Advantages of Foreign Direct Investment

1. Economic Development Stimulation.
Foreign direct investment can stimulate the target country’s economic development, creating a more conducive environment for you as the investor and benefits for the local industry.

2. Easy International Trade.
Commonly, a country has its own import tariff, and this is one of the reasons why trading with it is quite difficult. Also, there are industries that usually require their presence in the international markets to ensure their sales and goals will be completely met. With FDI, all these will be made easier.

3. Employment and Economic Boost.
Foreign direct investment creates new jobs, as investors build new companies in the target country, create new opportunities. This leads to an increase in income and more buying power to the people, which in turn leads to an economic boost.

4. Development of Human Capital Resources.
One big advantage brought about by FDI is the development of human capital resources, which is also often understated as it is not immediately apparent. Human capital is the competence and knowledge of those able to perform labor, more known to us as the workforce. The attributes gained by training and sharing experience would increase the education and overall human capital of a country. Its resource is not a tangible asset that is owned by companies, but instead something that is on loan. With this in mind, a country with FDI can benefit greatly by developing its human resources while maintaining ownership.

5. Tax Incentives.
Parent enterprises would also provide foreign direct investment to get additional expertise, technology and products. As the foreign investor, you can receive tax incentives that will be highly useful in your selected field of business.

6. Resource Transfer.
Foreign direct investment will allow resource transfer and other exchanges of knowledge, where various countries are given access to new technologies and skills.

7. Reduced Disparity Between Revenues and Costs.
Foreign direct investment can reduce the disparity between revenues and costs. With such, countries will be able to make sure that production costs will be the same and can be sold easily.

8. Increased Productivity.
The facilities and equipment provided by foreign investors can increase a workforce’s productivity in the target country.

9. Increment in Income.
Another big advantage of foreign direct investment is the increase of the target country’s income. With more jobs and higher wages, the national income normally increases. As a result, economic growth is spurred. Take note that larger corporations would usually offer higher salary levels than what you would normally find in the target country, which can lead to increment in income.

List of Disadvantages of Foreign Direct Investment

1. Hindrance to Domestic Investment.
As it focuses its resources elsewhere other than the investor’s home country, foreign direct investment can sometimes hinder domestic investment.

2. Risk from Political Changes.
Because political issues in other countries can instantly change, foreign direct investment is very risky. Plus, most of the risk factors that you are going to experience are extremely high.

3. Negative Influence on Exchange Rates.
Foreign direct investments can occasionally affect exchange rates to the advantage of one country and the detriment of another.

4. Higher Costs.
If you invest in some foreign countries, you might notice that it is more expensive than when you export goods. So, it is very imperative to prepare sufficient money to set up your operations.

5. Economic Non-Viability.
Considering that foreign direct investments may be capital-intensive from the point of view of the investor, it can sometimes be very risky or economically non-viable.

6. Expropriation.
Remember that political changes can also lead to expropriation, which is a scenario where the government will have control over your property and assets.

7. Negative Impact on the Country’s Investment.
The rules that govern foreign exchange rates and direct investments might negatively have an impact on the investing country. Investment may be banned in some foreign markets, which means that it is impossible to pursue an inviting opportunity.

8. Modern-Day Economic Colonialism.
Many third-world countries, or at least those with history of colonialism, worry that foreign direct investment would result in some kind of modern day economic colonialism, which exposes host countries and leave them vulnerable to foreign companies’ exploitations.

Conclusion

Investing into another country’s economy, buying into a foreign company or otherwise expanding your business abroad can be extremely financially rewarding and might provide you with the boost needed to jump to a new level of success. However, foreign direct investment also carries risks, and it is highly important for you to evaluate the economic climate thoroughly before doing it. Also, it is essential to hire a financial expert who is accustomed to working internationally, as he can give you a clear view of the prevailing economic landscape in your target country. He can even help you monitor market stability and predict future growth.

Remember that we live in an increasingly globalized economy, so foreign direct investment will become a more accessible option for you when it comes to business. However, you should weigh down its advantages and disadvantages first to know if it is the best road to take.

The limits that have been placed in this world, as far as are placed boundaries that have always been in place on the world, as far as media, communication and entertainment are concerned, are slowly lifting away. We now have the freedom to believe, think and say what we want. However, don’t you think there are some things that should be left unsaid? This is where the question about media censorship comes in; it is when things that are allowed to be published, televised or broadcasted are monitored by the government. This is done for various reasons, including the prevention of negative propaganda to spread. Though it is said to be implemented for good reasons, there are still many people saying contradicting opinions. Let us look at the pros and cons of media censorship to have a well-informed insight about this matter.

List of Pros of Media Censorship

1. It helps save the children from violence.
Censoring extreme violent material is beneficial, particularly among children. With the access to all sorts of media made easier these days, younger generations can easily fall prey to this sort of content. Thus, censorship would allow them to use the web or watch TV without worrying about their minds being corrupted.

2. It keeps the negative impact of sex materials away from children.
Sex is a serious topic that creates turmoil among people. Sexual acts, especially porn, would sometimes illustrate many unnatural and disturbing videos. It will likely have a negative impact on children who might think it to be true. Hence, this topic, along with violence, should be restricted to people who appreciate and understand that all of those are deliberately produced, in this case, adults.

3. It limits harmful advertisements.
It is understandable that product or service advertisements that are harmful to a person’s health are to be censored or, rather, limited. This will help prevent epidemics, such as alcohol addiction and obesity, which are increasingly becoming a concern for the population.

4. It helps protect personal security.
Sometimes, the First Amendment or Freedom of Speech threatens a person’s or a place’s security because of the fine details the media may provide. As information is, somehow, limited with media censorship, threats can be lessened and people are informed of things when they should be. This means chaos and panic would not ensue.

Another interesting argument regarding this matter is protection of secrets. Ignorance is bliss is certainly true here, considering that it is in the best interest of a country that its strategies are kept confidential. Sometimes, we just need to trust our government blindly.

5. It helps control hate.
By controlling the media, the government can also control prejudice, racism and untrue slandering of certain individuals, which might involve races, religions, companies and other countries.

6. It necessitates regulation.
Many proponents of internet censorship think that it allows for regulation of mass media, which is important to authority. Some even feel that not implementing regulations could have very detrimental effect on the society at certain levels. Some of the benefits of internet regulation to society are lessening the spread of drug cartels and keeping the exploitation of children to a minimum.

Internet censorship is seen as a form of control, and all other forms of mass media, including TV and radio, have specific administrative controls and regulations in place, which means that the web should be no different. It is important to note that regulations can lead to more order, which is the ultimate goal of internet censorship.

List of Cons of Media Censorship

1. It keeps the ignorant, ignorant.
If the government is put in control of what people are allowed to tune into, there is the tendency that things, which can expose corruption within the system, could not be viewed. This is an exploitable way to damage the people of a country.

2. It violates the First Amendment.
Freedom of speech and press is implemented for a reason—it is what the US was formed around. And, putting into effect an excessive amount of media censorship can infringe on this on this basic right of the people. Also, censorship is believed to negate the First Amendment. What would be the point of your right to speak when there is nobody listening to what you are talking about? The very concept of censorship is believed to clash with the idea of democracy. By covering the ears of listeners, then democracy and dictatorship would be no different.

3. It encourages ulterior motives.
As previously stated, placing the government in charge of what can be shown on the media can be risky. Considering that many politicians might be aligned with brands or companies, they may only allow these affiliates to advertise. They may also not allow anything negative to come out about these brands, no matter how true it is.

4. It hinders sex education and awareness.
Though taboo, sex and other delicate matters should still be dealt with maturity. Sex education and awareness of AIDS and STDs need to be spread in many countries, and it is unwise to brush these pressing topics under the carpet as taboo. The question here is what to show or not.

5. It violates website owners’ legal rights to make their information accessible.
Some owners of websites that are censored would possibly sue the government for keeping their online information from being accessible to their target audience. Though not a common situation, but it is a possibility among site owners if their content is being strictly regulated. This shows that regulations can be unnecessary and unlawful.

Conclusion

The media is like a very powerful weapon. If used properly, it can provide society with great benefits, but if used in negative ways, it can destroy. In a modern world where information can spread like wildfires, it is certainly not a bad thing to monitor or limit the types of things being spread, but there are also many cases where it can be irrational. Now, you can probably see that this debate can be a matter of belief. No matter what, censorship should come with rationale.

Passed in the early 1970s, the Endangered Species Act encompasses several different environmental laws in the US. It was signed into law by Former President Richard Nixon, whose primary objective was to stop many endangered species from being extinct using whatever means necessary. Because it is placed to protect certain animals that are nearing extinction on our planet, it will make people who harm or kill them a felon. While the law has been highly successful in the revival of some creatures, like the bald eagle, it has also been receiving a bit of heat from private land owners and ranchers all over the country. Here are the pros and cons of the Endangered Species Act:

List of Pros of the Endangered Species Act

1. It raises environmental awareness.
One of the greatest impacts this law has had on society is the level of awareness that has been raised for animal species. Once animals are gone, they cannot be brought back. To stop this from happening, education is our best weapon. This law forces people to be aware of the environment and help naturally protect it. Actually, it has undergone several changes so that it can effectively protect our ecosystem and ensure endangered or threatened species to recover their numbers despite being at the brink of extinction at certain times.

2. It helps protects the environment.
When certain animal species are listed as endangered, it automatically becomes a crime to harm them and even the habitat they are living in. This means the law is protecting the environment, while protecting the animals.

3. It creates a sense of order to the environment.
Truth is, some people have no problem hunting down and killing endangered species, and what’s worse, they sometimes do it for amusement. On the other hand, there are also people who may not use the environment at all and just stay at home all the time. What this law does is provide everybody a fair chance to enjoy the environment, while still providing a sense of order to keep threatened animals protected.

4. It involves set-up regulations.
Having a guide in preserving animal species is one of the greatest pros of the Endangered Species Act. The pursuit of keeping endangered species’ alive is firmly established with the aid of included regulations. This means that, whenever a hunt or capture of any endangered animal is reported, action can be taken instantly.

5. It invokes a sense of pride.
Aside from the preservation of animals and nature, this law also provides a wide variety of new wildlife parks that people can visit. This allows us to go and see the animals that are being protected in their natural habitat and feel proud that we are making it possible.

6. It really helps revive dwindling species.
The Endangered Species Act has been successful in increasing the number of species that are considered as being on the brink of extinction. After all, this is the largest pro of this law and also its main goal.

7. It brings about a sense of personal ownership.
Everyone in the US has had some skin in the efforts of environmental protection thanks to this law. Practically, this means that people can go to natural areas and see native wildlife in their habitat.

List of Cons of the Endangered Species Act

1. It is very strict.
The Endangered Species Act is extremely strict in terms of preserving all species. Many people even argue that other considerations should be taken into account before we make extreme decisions.

2. It offers no variations or options for us to take.
There is very little flexibility built into the law. This means that it can affect more than just local populations and businesses; it could also impact land management, tourism and even the lives of the protected animals.

3. It interferes with the sometimes-needed economic benefits.
The law puts a higher priority on the life of animals in their natural habitats than the immediate needs humans may have. For example, if a community needs affordable housing to be developed in an empty land, it cannot happen is such a law is present.

4. It implements extreme land restrictions.
As a country, the US is continuing to develop at a very rapid rate. And in order to continue such development, we must have sufficient land to build on. However, this act places restrictions on many areas, which can hinder business growth.

5. It requires high costs.
Implementing many of the laws and doing the necessary research can cost extremely high. Certain things, such as land surveying, law enforcement and security, are all on-going costs that must be taken on by those who pay taxes.

6. Its recovery rate is slow.
While the Endangered Species Act is considered a success in general, many people are still wondering how useful it really is. Of all the animals on the endangered species list, it is revealed that only about a fourth of their numbers have been delisted. This perceived lack of progress is making many people want to consider alternatives.

7. It saves endangered animals that may be dangerous.
You should know that not all animals are harmless, friendly and safe, and there is a number of species on the endangered list that are capable of causing severe harm and even death to humans. Plus, these creatures represent a threat to livestock and various businesses that are near them. Ranchers and private land owners, in particular, are struggling to manage these animals because there may be strict penalties if they are killed.

Conclusion

The Endangered Species Act was put into affect with truthful and pure intentions of saving the world’s animals. It has been highly successful in many cases and has continued to work on protecting nature and its beauty. However, based on the pros and cons presented above, is it really the right law to implement to manage and take care of the animal populations? By weighing them down, you can informatively determine the right path to take.

As the US economy tanked, the banks have been bailing out and the country losing its jobs, its military spending has continued to grow. For the past years, it is recorded to have increased more than 100%, which is very high compared to the height of Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the Cold War. The money allocated for the defense budget is used to purchase sophisticated weapons that often do not make it into production, but when they do, they are just too expensive to maintain. This means the US has been maintaining its spending a full 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) just to maintain its arsenal.

However, military spending has become a hot topic during debates in many years now, where some people suggest of cutting it, while others are okay with increasing it. To come up with a good decision on our end for this matter, let us take a look at its pros and cons.

List of Pros of Military Spending

1. It is used for important military matters.
The US military budget is the portion of the country’s discretionary federal budget that is allocated to the Department of Defense or, more generally, the portion of the budget that is allocated to any expenditure related to the military. It is used to pay the training, health care and salaries of civilian and uniformed personnel; maintain arms, equipment and facilities; to fund operations; and to develop and buy new equipment. It funds all of the country’ military branches, such as the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps.

2. It allocates a certain amount for emergency and supplemental spending.
The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were largely financed through supplementary spending bills that are outside the federal budget and are also not included in the military budget figures. But since the fiscal year of 2010, the wars in these countries were put under the “Overseas Contingency Operations” category, making the budget for them included in the federal budget.

3. It is useful in deterring foreign threats.
Even though the Cold War is over and the threat from the Soviet Union is already eliminated, the country is still facing threats from smaller rogue nations, such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Cuba, Syria and Sudan.

4. It makes military preparation efficient.
It is critical to keep the military forces ready to fight and quickly win. The fund is used for this purpose, especially for major regional wars that could happen at the same time. Remember that readiness will decline if funds are not increased for training and equipment.

5. It supports peacekeeping in foreign regions.
There are several long-term demands on US troops from other regions, such as for peacekeeping in the Balkans for example.

6. It prevents recruitment and retention issues.
The armed services in the country have been facing problems with the recruitment and retention of qualified personnel due to low benefits and pays. This can be avoided with sufficient budget for the military.

7. It can keep defense factories operational.
Increasing military spending will enable struggling defense contractors to keep their factories operational and retain jobs at military bases.

8. It is spent to ensure national security.
The last on the “pros” list, but obviously one of the most important, military spending is done to make national security a priority.

List of Cons of Military Spending

For the opponents, they also have several reasons why we should not put too much focus on military spending, even suggesting cuts. Here are them:

1. Its share to global military spending is already too big.
Though the US’s military spending has declined since 1989, its share of total worldwide military spending has increased greatly. In fact, the country’s military spending and its allies’ account for more than half of the total amount worldwide. Moreover, the US spends 18 times the combined military budgets of the rogue nations.

2. It is used to fund unrealistic wars.
As opponents said, the current 2-war strategy is unrealistic, considering that the country is fighting two simultaneous wars with no help from the allies.

3. It may support the rhetoric about readiness that may not reflect reality accurately.
The fact that the country’s forces were overwhelmingly superior to its oppositions in the Iraq and Yugoslavia wars seems to contradict the idea that they might not be ready.

4. It is not balanced with foreign aid and diplomacy.
If foreign aid and diplomacy budgets were more balanced with military spending, there would be a better chance to prevent conflict and avoid military involvement. Also, let us remember that national security means more than military power. So, to sustain a secure nation, federal spending must be balanced among military defense, economic security, healthcare, education and job training.

5. It might be used irresponsibly.
Enlisted men and women who are having difficulties in supporting their families should receive a fair wage, adequate healthcare and housing. Financial support would be available for these needs if the country’s military authority improved the way it manages its funds to reduce fraud, waste and abuse.

Conclusion

Military budgets are only one of the many gauges of military power. Their spending adequacy depends on the capability and number of the country’s adversaries, how well it invests its funds and its objectives, among other factors. Now, policymakers have been debating whether the level of military spending is appropriate, considering the increasingly constrained budgets and the winding down of wars in other countries. This fiscal year of 2015, military spending is projected to account for 54% of all the country’s federal discretionary spending, which has a total of USD598.5 billion. It is created to cover a range of areas, including all Department of Defense’s regular activities, nuclear weapons spending, war spending, international military assistance and other expenditures related to the Pentagon.

Taking all the context of this article into consideration, are you a supporter or an opponent of military spending?

Real-estate mogul Donald Trump makes the news for a variety of reasons, but his latest foray into the headlines cost him relationships with Univision, NBC and Macy’s.

Trump is running for president of the United States in the 2016 elections and his apparent way of wooing voters is by vilifying illegal immigrants. He called them rapists and drug criminals. Then again, this wasn’t the only time Trump has said words against undocumented immigrants.

In a March 25, 2015 interview with Iowa-based conservative podcast host Steve Deace, Trump referred to illegal immigrants as “destroying America”: “People are flowing into this country by the millions, not by the thousands, by the millions, and destroying the fabric of the country.”

Apparently, the man has been doing it for quite some time and it’s just now that people are taking notice.

As you can see, illegal immigration is such a conscientious topic – anywhere. But maybe most particularly significant in big nations like the US with thousands upon thousands of undocumented immigrants coming from not just close to their borders but from other countries as well.

In November 2014, US President Barack Obama announced that he will be granting temporary legal status and work permits for close to five million illegal immigrants. However, the deal is only applicable to undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for at least five years. It asks them to register, pass a background check and be granted a stay of deportation and a work permit valid for at least three years.

A lot, particularly Republicans, did not agree at all with the decision. For President Obama, the action was necessary to address the immigration issue in the US. In addition, Obama reached a decision as Republican lawmakers refused to pass an immigration bill that he favored.

The Senate – which is led by Democrats – passed a bill in 2013 that would grant long-term pathway to citizenship for most of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in America.

The decision was not met with applause unlike the recent decision to legalize gay marriage across America. Even those who are immigration reform advocates didn’t quite like the decision as they felt more could be done. For Wilfredo Seda, a radio host and immigration activist from Lancaster, Pennsylvania: “This will impact less than half of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living here right now. By ignoring that many people, we are still leaving most people in the shadows.”

So what are people in favor of and against with this amnesty for illegal immigrants?

List of Pros of Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

1. It helps contribute to the economy.
Illegal immigrants don’t contribute to the economy even if they work. That is because their pay isn’t taxed because they don’t have the legal right to work in the US. In essence, there are millions of dollars that goes unpaid in income taxes each year. With the amnesty program, unauthorized immigrants would be recognized and hence, their pay will be considered as legal income and can be taxed.

2. It can result in a stronger nation.
Illegal immigrants don’t feel as part of the nation because of their status. They are always left out in terms of benefits and such. By lifting them to legal status, they might be a bridge towards building a stronger America.

3. It gives people a second chance.
They may have committed a crime by coming to the US without consent, but amnestying them would allow them a new start – not in hiding anymore. As some say, when people are given a second chance, they can do great things.

List of Cons of Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

1. It encourages more illegal immigration.
In February 2015, Judge Andrew S Hannen rejected an argument raised by Texas in trying to establish legal standing. The state showed that the amnesty policies of President Obama would cause an increase of illegal residents and would also put a dent on state coffers as a result.

The state of Texas even included a written testimony from Karl Eschbach, a Harvard Ph.D. who was a former demographer for the state as well as an expert in racial demographic trends, ethnic health disparities and illegal immigration, but that didn’t even help their cause. Texas has been paying out close to $1.7 billion in the last two years in uncompensated health care associated with illegal residents.

In the testimony, Eschbach noted that amnesty policies “encourage those eligible [for it] to stay in the United States and incentivize other ineligible unauthorized immigrants to remain in the United States with the hope that they will be the beneficiaries of a future adjustment of status.” He added, “the effect of DACA and DAPA is to incentivize residents of other countries to come to the United States.”

This isn’t just speculation though, it has happened.

The DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act is a legislative proposal for undocumented US immigrants that would grant them conditional residency and when they meet further qualification, permanent residency. In June 2012, Obama suspended enforcement action against Dreamers. Within three months, 150,000 teenagers and families from Central America crossed across the border.

2. It erases the fact that people broke the law.
While advocates do feel for the plight of those who want to hopefully better their lives by immigrating to the US, it also doesn’t change the fact that they broke immigration laws. Everything that has been proposed absolves unauthorized immigrants of their sins – basically, the slate is wiped clean.

With the latest amnesty for illegal immigrants, Obama has seemed to forget what he said in the past. For some time, he has pleaded for relief for the young ones who were unknowingly brought into the country by their parents. For the president, the children “often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license or a college scholarship.” The message at that time was: don’t blame the children for the faults of their parents. However, fast forward to 2014 and the policy Obama has put in place exempts the parents from their wrongdoing.

3. It is costly.
Let’s face it, not everyone who illegally migrate ends up being wealthy. Most of the time, they end up poor and employed in low-income jobs because of their status. Amnestying them would mean they would qualify for means-tested social programs. Data shows that 41% of net growth in the Medicaid population between 2011 and 2013 were made up of immigrants and their children. By legalizing millions more, programs such as Medicaid, Section 8 housing vouchers and food stamps will grow astoundingly.

Put simply, immigration policy in the US has increased the number of poor people living in the US dramatically.

Geothermal energy is really beneficial, offering people the ability to tap into the Earth for a renewable source of power. Once it was discovered, it became a revolutionary energy solution that quickly spread from one corner of the globe to the other. But as with any other power-generating solution, you might want to take a look at the upsides and downsides geothermal energy brings if you are thinking of using it for your home. So, to help you with coming up with a well-informed decision, we have gathered some answers to a probable question that is running inside your mind, “What are the advantages and disadvantages of geothermal energy?”

List of the Advantages of Geothermal Energy

1. It is renewable.
This is probably the biggest advantage of geothermal energy—being renewable. This means that as long as we do not pump too much cold water into the Earth, which can cool off hot rocks, such energy will just keep on coming.

2. It allows for direct use.
Since the old times, we have been using this energy source for heating our homes, taking a bath, preparing our food and, today, heating directly our offices. This has made geothermal energy more affordable for everyone. Though the initial investment you have to make is quite high, you will enjoy huge cost savings in the long run.

3. It causes no pollution.
Another great advantage of using geothermal energy is that it does not produce any type of pollution. At the same time, it does not contribute to the worsening greenhouse effects.

4. Its set-up just requires less area.
Power stations that generate geothermal energy do not take up a whole bunch of room. Because of this, they tend to have less of an impact on their locations’ surroundings and the environment.

5. It does not require external power sources.
Due to the fact that geothermal energy is already energy in itself, it does not require an outside source of fuel to keep its power houses running.

6. It reduces reliance on fossil fuels.
According to expert observations, dependence on fossil fuels dropped with the rise in the use of geothermal energy. With the sky-rocketing oil prices, more and more countries are now pushing businesses and organizations to adopt such a clean source of energy. Also, it is important to note that burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases that are the main cause of global warming.

7. It creates more job opportunities.
Considering that governments of various nations are now investing hugely in geothermal energy generation, more jobs for the people in the locality are also created.

8. It is economical.
Efficiency of geothermal energy even offers a more exciting benefit to the frugal homeowner. By building a geothermal power station, the energy you can use is nearly, free! While it may require a little amount of power to run its pump, you can just tap into the existing energy to handle the task.

9. It offers significant cost saving.
Somehow related to the previous advantage, geothermal energy generally involves low-running costs, since it is capable of saving 80% of the costs needed to make use of fossil fuels and it needs no fuel to generate power. Also, the costs of purchasing, transporting and cleaning up plants are quite low.

List of the Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy

1. Its plant cannot be set up anywhere.
Perhaps the biggest downside of geothermal energy is that you just cannot set up its power station anywhere you want. First, you will need a location that has the right kind of hot rocks. Remember that not just any kind of hot rocks will do, since some of them are just too strong to drill through. These rocks also need to be within a reasonable depth to make drilling a feasible option. The most efficient place to have a geothermal plant constructed is a volcanic area.

2. It requires high installation costs.
To generate geothermal energy, installation of power plants that gather steam from deep within the earth is needed, which also require a huge one-time investment. In addition, electricity towers are needed to be set up to move the power generated from the plant to the consumers.

3. Its sources are not widespread.
Since geothermal energy is not widely used, the unavailability of infrastructure, equipment, staff, and training poses a hindrance to the installation of plants across the planet. This is not the only problem facing geothermal energy, but also the insufficient skilled manpower and availability of suitable locations.

4. Its sources might deplete.
In some cases, geothermal sites might, well, literally run out of steam, and when this happens, the dry spell may last for very long periods, such as decades.

5. It poses potential hazards.
When you are drilling into the earth and letting steam escape, other not-so-friendly things might escape as well. Hazardous minerals and gases can seep up from beneath the ground, and finding a solution to dispose of them safely may prove highly dangerous and difficult.

6. Its transportation processes are not that easy.
Put in mind that geothermal energy cannot be easily transported. Once we extract the tapped energy, the power can only be used in the surrounding areas, unlike other sources of energy, such as oil, coal and wood, which can be transported to residential areas.

Conclusion

So, when the time comes that you are considering making an energy change at home, it is important to weigh down the advantages and disadvantages that come with your decision. For geothermal energy, just like any other form of power-generation technology, it does not only bring about many benefits, but also drawbacks. If you live in a place where it is a viable solution, consider getting in touch with a geothermal site builder for some consultation. As an expert in the trade, he will be able to offer you a more thorough explanation of the benefits, risks and other important information behind geothermal efficiency and what this energy source can do for you.

In a pass fail grading system, students receive either a pass or fail mark, instead of the traditional letter or number grade. This is considered advantageous to both the students and faculty since the level of assessment is only limited to 2 options — a passing or failing grade. Students who receive a C or higher will typically pass, while those who get a D or F will fail. In some cases, only an F is considered a failing mark. With just two grades to consider, teachers will have fewer options to choose from when evaluating a student’s performance.

Students, on the other hand, will get the education that they need without the added stress and pressure of competing for higher grades. According to a testimony of a Yale student, which was posted on the school’s website, “Yale allows you to make your education truly yours without worrying about grade competition”.

Since the 1960’s, Yale has adopted the pass-fail system. Harvard and Stanford only followed suit during the early part of the 21st century.

In a study conducted through the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota, evidence showed that the pass fail grading system has a positive impact on the mood, stress, test anxiety and group cohesion among medical students. Research showed that students graded through this system have less perceived stress and have greater group cohesion than those students who were graded through the previous 5-interval grading system. In terms of mood, however, the difference between the two groups is not that significant. In conclusion, the pass fail system reduces stress and increases group cohesion.

While the pass fail grading system has its advantages, many of its opponents have something negative to say about it.

List of Pros of Pass Fail Grading System

1. Takes pressure off students at certain levels
In a pass-fail grading system, a student’s actual scores are not reported on the transcript, which means their GPA will not be affected with either a pass or fail mark. This spares students from obsessing about getting a high letter grade, allowing them to relax, while still getting the education necessary for them to land a good job and mold them to become responsible citizens. What is even better is that they will receive credit for the course. Without the worries that come with scoring an A, students may even be encouraged to enroll in more challenging courses that they would have avoided with the traditional letter grading system in place.

2. Give students a clear cut idea of their weaknesses and strengths
Knowing exactly which subject(s) that they fail in, students will easily determine where to switch their focus on. In a letter grade system, they would be wondering whether to study on areas where they are performing so-so (grade of a C) or concentrate all their efforts on where they are likely to fail (grade of a D). Seeing evidence of their competency in certain subjects, students will also learn early on which degree would have a positive effect on their job placement in the future. Chances of being employed would not be solely dependent on their GPA as well.

3. Make class work easier
Without emphasis on achieving a high tier grade, students can focus on true information retention rather than just focus on specific details that will help them receive a C or higher. In a pass fail grading system, knowing generalized amount of information is often enough to achieve a passing grade, so there’s no need to cram for tests just to remember specific data.

4. Lead to better engagement
Classes or courses that are often difficult are best taken as pass fail, as this allows students to engage with the difficult content in a way that is suitable for them. They will have an easier time to learn the difficult concepts, and have an opportunity to excel.

List of Cons of Pass Fail Grading System

1. Eliminates competitiveness
When all that is required of you is a passing mark, you would not find the urgency or the need to work hard to get a higher grade. An A, after all, indicates your best performance, which is far from what an F represents. But without such distinction, you will be satisfied with just satisfactory or good enough. This will result in you becoming lazy and less focused. The same thing could be true with the rest of the student population.

When laziness becomes habitual due to the lack of competitiveness, future performance of students will be affected up to the point when they are already working. Under the circumstances, the pass fail system proves to be a failure.

2. Doesn’t provide accurate representation of performance level and knowledge
So a student passed, but how well exactly did he do in his exam? So-so may be enough in a classroom setting, but not in the real world. If a student failed, how bad did he do, really? Without an accurate representation that a traditional letter grading system provides, there is no easy way of knowing a student’s level of performance and knowledge. The teacher might know, but the student won’t, unless he bothers to ask.

3. Conversion to exact scoring is not possible
Say you worked hard to recover from a failing mark and successfully got a passing score. With a pass fail grading system, you can’t determine if you got an A or a C for all your efforts, which would have made a huge difference in your sense of achievement. An A or a C makes no difference in a pass fail system.

4. Lack of incentives
Proponents of the traditional letter grading system believe that every letter is an incentive to do good, better or best. Knowing they get a B could prompt students to exert extra effort to get an A. After all, they are just one step closer to getting the highest mark. By taking this away, however, students will not have that extra incentive to do well. This is why proponents blame pass fail in the increasing number of students who are mediocre and lazy.

Knowing the pros and cons, can you say that the pass fail grading system is a pass or a failure?

A flat tax system is where ALL taxpayers – regardless of income – pay the same tax rate. Having everyone pay the same rate no matter how much they make stirs debate between those who are in support of it and those who are against it. Supporters argue that the system is fair while those who don’t find it an unpleasant situation especially for the lower income class.

While the US adopts a progressive tax system, there are other countries in the world who have imposed a flat tax rate system on both individuals and businesses. The results? Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia have all experienced economic growth since switching to the system.

Estonia adopted the system in 1994 and put a 26% tax on both personal and corporate income. The country experienced an 11.7 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 1997 which continuously grew between 7 and 10 percent throughout the early 2000s. Then again, other factors contributed to the case as well.

But an article by Josh Barro in Bloomberg View in 2013 will argue otherwise. In it was detailed the exit of several central and eastern Europena countries from flat-rate income taxes. The Czech Republic and Slovakia changed theirs to a progressive system. Barro wrote: “Even the poster child for flat-tax fans, Estonia, isn’t looking so hot. Since the 2008 crash, Estonia has resolutely kept its flat tax and signed up for severe fiscal and monetary austerity, even joining the Euro area. Its economy has strongly rebounded since 2010, but only after an extremely hard crash has left its gross domestic product still below its 2007 peak.”

Even more recently, Senator Rand Paul, in an article on The Wall Street Journal, suggested a flat tax rate system for the US. Rand is of course a candidate in the 2016 US Presidential Elections and this is his ticket he hopes would take him to the White House. In his plan, the following would be implemented:

replacement of complicated personal income tax with a 14.5% flat tax.
replacement of complicated corporate taxes with a new 14.5% value-added tax.
elimination of payroll tax.
elimination of estate and gift taxes.
elimination of excises and tariffs.
elimination of most credits, deductions and loopholes.
elimination of most double-taxation of income.
elimination of much of the IRS.

The plan is hedged on the GOP’s three goals of tax reform: simplicity, fairness and growth. Paul’s plan does make things simpler and could do very well on growth. However, it’s still rather vulnerable when it comes to fairness.

According to the Tax Foundation, the Paul Plan can increase gross domestic product a full percent each year. Based on static analysis, the plan would raise the deficit by $3 trillion over 10 years.

While some agree that the plan looks good (even conservative pundit Glenn Beck called the plan “erotic”), there are several downsides to it as well. For one, it looks to favor the wealthy – even if it would increase income for everyone in the income scale – as they look to get the biggest gains out of it.

Arguments the Paul Plan mention that it’s not a true flat system as it still preserves several loopholes and exemptions such as the charitable deduction, mortgage-interest deduction, child credit, earned-income credit and tax exclusion for workplace health benefits.

Another argument for the Paul Plan is the system won’t likely stay flat. After all, some countries in Europe have opted out of it when they got into trouble. Just take a look at the tax reforms implemented during Reagan’s time – Reaganomics if you will. It limited taxes on the wealthy on the belief that it would “trickle down” to the lower-income class. While it did partly improve the economy, that system didn’t last long – just four years. And what happened then? The US diverted back to the really sad system that Reaganomics replaced.

The idea of flat tax in the UK has also been thrown around. George Osborne cited Estonia as economies with “lessons we can learn from.” But he also admitted it wasn’t a popular choice for “mature economies.” But just like anywhere else, the idea had dissenters too. Robert Halfon called the measure “deeply regressive and would be hard to defend as fair.”

So, what is it exactly? Is there more harm than good of implementing a flat rate tax system? Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument:

List of Pros of Flat Tax

1. It is fairly simple
Let’s take the US tax bracket as an example. For taxes filed on April 15, 2015, these were the tax rates:

Tax Rate Single filers Married filing jointly or qualifying widow/widower Married filing separately Head of household
10% Up to $9,075 Up to $18.510 Up to $9,075 Up to $12,950
15% $9,076 to $36,900 $18,151 to $73,800 $9,076 to $36,900 $12,951 to $49,400
25% $36,901 to $89,350 $73,801 to $148,850 $36,901 to $74,425 $49,401 to $127,550
28% $89,351 to $186,350 $148,851 to $226,850 $74,426 to $113,425 $127,551 to $206,600
33% $186,351 to $405,100 $226,851 to $405,100 $113,426 to $202,550 $206,601 to $405,100
35% $405,101 to $406,750 $405,101 to $457,600 $202,551 to $228,800 $405,101 to $432,200
39.6% $406,751 or more $457,601 or more $228,801 or more $432,201 or more

 

What happens then with these brackets when a flat tax is implemented? Eliminated and replaced with just one rate for everyone. It wouldn’t give tax filers a hard time and those at the IRS would welcome the easy computation. Flat rate taxes only one income and that makes it easier to understand and report.

2. It provides a cost benefit for taxpayers
The financial cost of complying with regulations set by the IRS is high. For one, taxpayers may need lawyers, accountants and other resources. That can be eliminated with the implementation of a flat system.

3. It eliminates other taxes
With a flat tax system, a section of the tax code biased against capital formation is removed. In addition, death tax, capital gains tax and double taxation of savings and dividends are eliminated. In other words, families and individuals won’t be asked to report dividends, interest or any other business-related income. As a result, individual taxpayers will do away with paying interest, dividends and other business tax.

Basically, it taxes only earned income.

4. It employs territorial taxation
Territorial taxation is when the government taxes income generated within national borders.

5. It promotes economic growth
Almost every country that has adapted the flat tax system experienced economic growth. It’s worth noting too that former communist nations were the first to apply global tax reform. It started with Estonia in 1994, which is a few years after the demise of the Soviet Union. They were followed by two other Baltic republics of the former Soviet Union: Latvia (opting for 25%) and Lithuania (choosing 33%).

Russia too, inspired by its neighbors, shifted to a flat tax system in 2001. The move yielded some positive results: the economy did prosper and revenues streamed into government coffers. In 2003, Serbia chose a 14% rate and the following year, Slovakia shifted and stuck with a 19% rate. Other countries with a flat rate tax system include:

Ukraine – 13%
Georgia – 12%
Romania – 16%
Kyrgyztan – 10%

6. It is deemed as fair
Let’s say that Person 1 earns $5,000 and Person 2 makes $500,000. With the progressive system, they have to pay different tax rates based on how much they make. With the flat rate system, both will pay the exact same amount.

Also, it should be noted that Person 2 is paying much bigger tax because they have a greater income. But when considered as a whole, the percentage each have to pay is equal.

List of Cons of Flat Tax

1. It penalizes low-income earners
Low-income earners, well, earn much less than others. The fact that they have to spend on the same necessities are more well-placed folk is also an issue as when necessities expense is taken out of the picture, low-income earners are left with so little for anything else.

In other words, the poor get poorer.

2. It eliminates the IRS
This can be taken both ways, actually. With Rand Paul’s flat tax proposition, not everyone was in agreement with retaining a small portion of the IRS. On the other hand, if the IRS gets re-adjusted, then some employees would surely lose their jobs. And that’s another problem to deal with: unemployment.

3. It benefits the rich
Let’s go with another example: Person 1 earns $1,000 while Person 2 makes $10,000. They live in a country where a flat tax system is in place and the rate is 10%. Person 1 would only have $900 left after taxation while Person 2 would have $9,000. Can you spot the discrepancy?

Even with taxes at the same rate, well-paid individuals are well, still well paid. Or put simply, the rich still gets richer.